The key lessons learnt from producing the ABC programme Talking Heads a talk show/documentary hybrid in a fast turnaround environment

King, Jack (2009) The key lessons learnt from producing the ABC programme Talking Heads a talk show/documentary hybrid in a fast turnaround environment. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The following exegesis will detail the key advantages and disadvantages of combining a traditional talk show genre with a linear documentary format using a small production team and a limited budget in a fast turnaround weekly environment. It will deal with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation series Talking Heads, broadcast weekly in the early evening schedule for the network at 18.30 with the presenter Peter Thompson. As Executive Producer for the programme at its inception I was responsible for setting it up for the ABC in Brisbane, a role that included selecting most of the team to work on the series and commissioning the music, titles and all other aspects required to bring the show to the screen. What emerged when producing this generic hybrid will be examined at length, including: „h The talk show/documentary hybrid format needs longer than 26¡¦30¡¨ to be entirely successful. „h The type of presenter ideally suited to the talk show/documentary format requires someone who is genuinely interested in their guests and flexible enough to maintain the format against tangential odds. „h The use of illustrative footage shot in a documentary style narrative improves the talk show format. iv „h The fast turnaround of the talk show/documentary hybrid puts tremendous pressure on the time frames for archive research and copyright clearance and therefore needs to be well-resourced. „h In a fast turnaround talk show/documentary format the field components are advantageous but require very low shooting ratios to be sustainable. „h An intimate set works best for a talk show hybrid like this. Also submitted are two DVDs of recordings of programmes I produced and directed from the first and third series. These are for consideration in the practical component of this project and reflect the changes that I made to the series.

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ID Code: 31828
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Portmann, Geoffrey & McKee, Alan
Keywords: Talking Heads, ABC programming, talk show and documentary hybrid, television, producing and directing
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Disciplines > Film & Television
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 16 Apr 2010 06:36
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:56

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